Kefine Klanar English Review


A Promising Start




Construction and Design




  • Great tuning, oscillating between V and W.
  • Clear search for a softer sound in the treble, with powerful, yet less fatiguing bass.
  • Remarkable level of construction, with a simplistic but effective design that gives it great ergonomics and fit.
  • Good zipped case.
  • Very good cable, thick, light, soft and flexible, no need to change it.
  • Excellent value for money.




  • The first part of the mids is somewhat thin.
  • The softness of the treble can penalise the overall timbre.
  • Bass has subtle colouring which makes it less deep and sensory.
  • Relatively large case for the contents.
  • Silicone tips too common.


Purchase Link


Link to the WEB




Kefine is a headphone brand from Dongguan (China) that has been «Founded by a team passionate about music. Kefine aims to offer refined headphones and portable audio products for music lovers at an affordable price and the best value for money. The brand name Kefine comes from the combination of the name of the founder Ke and the word «Refine». In the words of the founder himself: «The new brand wants to offer refined audio products for music lovers with a more affordable price and the best price-performance ratio». And their first model is the Klanar, an IEMS with a 14.5mm magnetic planar driver. They have aimed for powerful bass, thanks to its PET composite diaphragm, N55 magnet and custom transducer construction. But also a warm, rich, clean and detailed midrange. However, one of the critical points of the planar IEMS is the treble area. Kefine has deliberately sought to soften the high band so that it is smooth and never harsh, for long, fatigue-free listening. The Klanar’s high sensitivity and low impedance make them easy to handle. Naturally, the Klanar is CNC machined from a single piece of aluminium alloy. In order to keep the size of the headphone housing as small as possible, the thinnest housing wall is only 0.2 mm Klanar, which ensures wearing comfort. The design of the housing is also ergonomic and adapts very well to the ears of different people. The capsules have a matt finish with black anodising, while the outer face has a glossy black finish with a white logo. Finally, the cable is made up of four strands combined in pairs. The brown strands are composed of OFC litz wires and the black strands of silver-plated copper litz wires. The intention of this cable is to help create a warm sound with soft treble at the same time, as well as natural and very clear. Kefine has undoubtedly put a lot of effort into making this first model excellent value for money, putting a lot of emphasis on the opinions of enthusiasts about the existing planar IEMS models on the market. Let’s see how that effort translates into reality, in my humble opinion.





  • Driver Type: 14.5mm diameter magnetic planar with PET composite diaphragm and N55 magnet.
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 40 kHz.
  • Sensitivity: 105 dB ± 3 dB.
  • Impedance: 16Ω ± 15%.
  • Cable length: 1.2m ± 0.2m.
  • Jack Connector: Choice of either SE 3.5mm or 4.4mm BAL
  • Capsule Connection Type: 2Pin 0.78mm.
  • Weight: 12.6g.





The box has a medium to large size, its dimensions are 171x140x38mm. Its background is white and on the main side there is a photo of the capsules with their cable. At the top right, there is the name of the brand and at the bottom left, the name of the model and the driver used. The back side has the same information at the top, although, this time, the capsules do not have the cable attached. In the middle are the specifications in Chinese and English. Underneath are the brand name, the logos of the certifications and the web address. This website is in Chinese and there is no English option at the moment.
After removing the outer cardboard, a matt black cardboard box is revealed, with nothing else. Under the lid are the capsules with their attached cable and a zippered case, all inside the same black protective foam mould. Inside the case is the rest of the cable and the silicone tips. The complete contents are as follows:


  • The two Kefine Klanar capsules with a pair of medium sized, narrow core, grey silicone tips.
  • One 4-strand cable with 4.4mm BAL connector.
  • A sturdy grey zippered case.
  • One set of dark grey tips with narrow core sizes SxMxL.
  • One set of dark grey tips with wide core sizes SxMxL.


And that’s it. As the manufacturer itself says, Kefine prefers to invest just enough in its presentation, without creating unnecessary artifice. Two sets of tips, a good cable and a good zipped case, big enough to fit the whole thing inside without any problems. Well thought out, trying to maximise the quality/price ratio of the product in the essentials.



Construction and Design


The capsules have the classic African continent shape with all corners very rounded. They are manufactured by 5-axis CNC machining from a single piece of aluminium alloy. The finish is matt black anodised. The outer face is branded in white lettering and is protected by clear plastic sheeting to prevent scratching and retain its glossy appearance. The 2Pin 0.78mm connection is on the edge and is slightly projected. It has a rectangular shaped translucent rigid plastic piece containing the two gold plated connections. This piece is shallow, it does not overhang. The inner side is rounded and has no protruding shape. This makes the body smooth and soft, facilitating ergonomics. There are two holes on this face, one close to the rim, the other closer to the mouthpiece. The letters indicating the channel are white and clearly visible. The nozzles do not have a smooth growth, but are quite projected and have a very adequate average length. The entire mouthpiece is integral, forming a single piece with the inner face. It has three diameters, the base 6.2mm, the central taper 5.6mm and the outer crown 6.3mm. The mouthpiece guard is metallic with a crossed spiral pattern. Although it seems to be double, as underneath this first grille there is another micro-perforated grille, which also looks metallic.
The cable is available with either a 3.5mm SE plug or a 4.4mm BAL plug. In my case I have chosen the balanced plug, it is gold plated. Its sleeve is a regular black cylinder with the brand name in white letters. There are two slots near the cable outlet, which is protected by a black rubber sleeve. The cable consists of 4 strands with 54 wires each. The brown strands are made of OFC litz wires and the black strands are made of silver-plated (black) copper litz wires. Each wire has a diameter of 0.05mm. The splitter piece is another smaller cylinder in the same style. Its diameter widens at the edge and then narrows again. In the centre is the model name in white letters. The pin is a ring whose inner hole is the optimum size to perform its adjustment function firmly and without slipping easily, facilitating the task for which it has been efficiently designed. The cable has semi-rigid sheaths on a transparent ear. The sleeves of the 2Pin 0.78mm connectors are each slightly angled black plastic pieces that are tapered and flattened near the two pins, thus the aesthetic integration with the capsules is very appropriate.
The design is simple but very effective. I get the feeling that nothing has been left to chance and that all the details have been thought out to maximise ergonomics but on a simplistic, but very well thought out basis. From the shape of the capsules to all their visible details, with all the letters very well contrasted to be able to see the channel of the capsules (with the exception of the marking of the cable, located on the plastic sleeve of the 2Pin connector, which consists of a raised letter). Except for this detail, the rest of the set is purely functional, practical, but very efficient and effective. The cable is so good and convenient that it does not need to be replaced, being quite flexible and manageable.



Adjustment and Ergonomics


The great, simple but very effective design of the capsules is also noticeable in the length, diameter and angle of the nozzles. All three parameters are very appropriate and the insertion can vary from shallow to medium, depending on the individual canal. As usual, my large home-made foam-filled tips fit remarkably well and give me a shallow insertion, but with a very occlusive seating that favours a high immersive sensation, as well as a great isolation. Although the inner side is not anchored at all because it is smooth, the rotation is minimal thanks to the length of the mouthpieces and their angle. As I say, this length is very good because the capsules fit very well in my ears and do not protrude too much. They are very comfortable to wear thanks to their matte but smooth surface texture and rounded corners. Really, Kefine has designed capsules to be worn for hours on end without any fatigue. The cable also helps in this respect.







The Kefine Klanar has a W-profile where the maximum rise is in the sub-bass, closely followed by a peak at 2kHz, which could be dangerous. The middle part of the midrange is dipped in the graph, although it is not as noticeable afterwards, nor does it penalise the sound as much. On the other hand, there is a clear intention to lower the upper mids and extend them towards the treble in an almost flat way, with the intention of softening the high end for a more pleasant and less fatiguing sound. The last peak at 8kHz, which may be the result of the microphone’s artifice as much as real, is very light, leaving a fairly homogeneous treble, ending in a zone of decreasing air.
The Klanar’s sound contrasts for its power in the low end, as its rise from the sub-bass is maintained by a gentle tapering towards the midrange. After a valley at 600Hz there is a faster rise towards 2kHz to gain clarity. Fortunately, the high-mids are very well resolved along with the treble so as not to impinge on an overly shrill sound. That’s why they have been conveniently reduced in amount of energy in a very wise way.
I know that Kefine has been looking for a sound for the masses, playing it safe. But, on the other hand, it has also listened to the thousands of users’ opinions about the treble of other brands’ planars. In this way, it has sought a tuning that seeks clarity but not at the expense of raising the energy of the high end. Hence the peak at 2kHz and its subsequent smoothing. It is clear that raising the sub-bass in this way generates an appeal focused on bass-lovers, with a very amusing point that combines the clarity of the sound with powerful bass. In this way the sound is open, sufficiently bright and powerful. It’s clear that the first half of the mids is the only one that feels a little withdrawn, but even so, the overall tuning is very well resolved so that most commercial, electronic, pop and rock genres sound very pleasant, attractive, clean and detailed and punchy throughout their range. Congratulations to Kefine for having a clearly commercial looking idea, but executing it in the best possible way.





The Kefine Klanar is an IEMS with an emphasis on the sub-bass, aiming for a clean and agile mid-bass. Actually, the mid-bass is also present and that gives it a boosted and energetic low end. Perhaps, too much for some, but very suitable for bass-lovers like me. Without a doubt, this is a band of remarkable quality and presence. It is clear that the sonority and timbre of the planar transducers are not equal to those of the dynamic transducers, but the behaviour of the Klanar is remarkable. Starting with the pure tone test, the Klanar’s sound at 20Hz is realistic, deep, sensory and almost inaudible, although subsonic energy is clearly perceptible. The vibration produced at this frequency moves away from the behaviour of the Balanced Armature and is much closer to a dynamic driver. Thus, the behaviour feels much more natural. And it gains the higher the frequency. At 40Hz the tone is powerful, full, punchy, subtly coloured, but very acceptable comparatively speaking. The depth of performance is obvious and both the volume and the space occupied is large and wide.
When it comes back to real music playback, the Klanars are quite capable of following complex and badly recorded bass lines without showing any problems. Moreover, their behaviour remains natural, realistic and pleasant, despite the power input.
The bass has a good level of texture for a planar and a slightly more noticeable than light roughness, which gives it an additional, but not overwhelming, appeal. You could say it has a good balance of texture, agility, speed and decay. It is not an extremely neat or dry bass, but executes strokes quickly and with little or no aftertaste, but it has enough elasticity to be descriptive on surfaces, offering more information than average. It is also worth noting that this is not a dark low end, and there is a soft colour sensation that prevents the range from being much deeper or more sensory. On the other hand, it is also effective in the technical sections and remarkable in the recreation of complex bass lines and layers.
But perhaps the best thing about the range is not only its behaviour, but its tuning. Based on that pretension of sounding powerful from the sub-bass, it tries to go down quickly, although it falls halfway, generating a big and corpulent base, which may not always be to everyone’s taste, although it is to the taste of many, among whom I find myself. And I enjoy it.





The mids of the Klanar are moderately polarised. The descent from the bass increases up to the 600Hz mid-range and rises rapidly to 2kHz. Thus, the first half of the midrange suffers from a certain physicality and corporeality, which is noticeable in the male voices. They sound clean and clear, but also slightly thin. Despite this, they have a good timbre, delicate and luminous, which is perceived and drawn closer than one would think, after seeing the graph. Again, I have to congratulate the tuning, because the result of the first half is more effective and present, than in the theory proposed by the FR. And this is something that is appreciated, as it makes the Klanar a more all-rounder IEMS than one might expect, a priori. By de-emphasising this initial part, clarity and separation are enhanced. Density and opacity are also lost. The Klanar never sound hollow or too tight, but remain at that light, subtly piercing, yet firm point, not too thin, but fuller. Perhaps this is due to some low end influence, more for energy than bass bleed. To speak plainly, those looking for a wall of sound in the mids won’t find it here. That’s not to say that the Klanar’s sound bright, completely luminous or analytical, though, they are far more restrained and homogenous than all that. They possess a hint of warmth, again, aided by their gentle tuning in the early treble, which counteracts the excitement in the early mid-highs. Thanks to them, the second half of the mids is very well resolved and helps to create a clean, clear, transparent and showy sound, but without sounding harsh or penetrating. The result is a punchy, but controlled performance in the upper mids, offering a sound that is sufficiently projected, dynamic and organic to sound very efficient, slightly marked, but musical and resolute at the same time. In this way, female vocals, guitars, percussion and other higher based instruments are presented with a mixture of energy, presence and final smoothness that manages to tame them so that they never sound penetrating, even if the volume is high. Quite an achievement of great tuning.





Kefine has deliberately sought to be smooth and confident in the treble, to offer a pleasant sound, free of sibilance and, above all, not too tiring. And he has found it. It is true that the treble tuning helps the rest of the band much more than the range itself. But this is the price to pay to achieve such an effect. To be sure, the Klanar’s treble is relatively extended in its first half, but lowered in its energy level and final part. Thus, the treble sounds moderate and homogeneous, but lacks a certain sparkle, liveliness and shimmering brilliance. Admittedly, this also limits the higher overtone impression, but it has an indulgent control and smoothness that counteracts this. In this way, the treble is slightly flat, without any jolt or bite, more focussed on efficiency than on showing off. Above the treble, the air area shrinks slightly, creating a more sparse and wiry sound at times. Perhaps this is the point that makes the timbre less than perfect, due to the lack of a more discernible harmonic extension.



Soundstage, Separation


The scene benefits from the cleanliness, relative thinness and delicacy of the central range to appear wide and moderately spacious. Without being surrounding, the presentation is frontal, with remarkable depth and good headroom. There is a sense of superior laterality thanks to the bass emphasis, generating a sense of almost rearward origin from the lower frequencies, which gives it a good level of showiness and virtual three-dimensionality, albeit only in the lower range. The rest of the frequencies are eminently frontal, with an adequate sense of air. There is no gaseous or volatile effect, although the separation is clear, without being a predominant feature of the sound. There is cleanliness, sufficient light, transparency and distance, but it is not an analytical sound or much more detailed than other planars in the price range. Although the cleanliness and neatness of its presentation, as well as the low density of the music, associated with a good level of resolution (without being excellent) helps to recreate a good level of incipient micro detail, without being specific or very defined, but enough to express itself subtly and attract attention.
In terms of imaging, again, the low level of density and its technical capabilities deliver an appropriate, flawless result. Although it is not skilled enough to individually discern each and every element, maintaining that cohesive musical feel that some planars present, which limits them in resolution and analytical capacity.





LetShuoer S12 Pro


The S12 Pro are the S12s with a slightly different tuning, with slightly more sub-bass, a subtle lowering of the mid-bass and mid-high and first treble. The idea is to soften the high end of the S12s by adding a more sloped approach to the low end. A modular cable incorporating all three terminations (2.5mm, 3.5mm and 4.4mm) was also added. Kefine’s idea with the Klanar is similar, but with more emphasis on smoothing the mid-highs and early highs, but with a more pronounced W-profile and dipping in the first half of the mids.
The capsules of the S12 Pro are smaller, of impeccable construction and a design that is on its way to becoming a classic. Kefine is off to a great start, with great construction and excellent ergonomics. The short mouthpieces of the S12 Pro penalise the comparison in the ergonomics section and, in my case, the Klanar is superior. The cable of the Kefine is not modular and you can choose between SE 3.5mm and BAL 4.4mm. It is slightly thinner but less stiff, which is the weak point of the S12 Pro’s cable.
In terms of sound, the Klanars are softer in the upper-mids and first highs, and also lighter in the first mids. Overall, their sound is not as dense and full as in the S12 Pro, nor do they offer that wall-of-sound feel that the S12 Pro does. This density makes them more intense in practically the entire frequency range. Those looking for power and a deeper, more immersive feel should go for the S12 Pro, but should also be careful with their ears, as their more energetic sound and more biting treble can cause hearing fatigue sooner than the Klanar. On the other hand, another advantage that the Klanar has over the S12 Pro is that they are easier to handle, more sensitive and easier to move around than the S12 Pro.
In the pure tone test I prefer the Klanar over the S12 Pro, especially in the lower audible end, sounding more realistic. However, the mid-bass tones are more natural in the S12 Pro, resulting subtly less coloured. The Klanar’s seem to have a slightly brighter timbre in the mid-bass, while the S12 Pro’s seem deeper, denser and more homogeneous. The bass also seems to take up more space, being more voluminous and opulent, delivering more energy and power, even. As much as the volumes are equalised, there is not as much punch and violence in the low end of the Klanar, which ends up being softer.
The mid-range, in its first half, is lighter, thinner and more delicate in the Klanar. The S12 Pro are more physical, somewhat closer, more homogeneous and also denser, with more body. This results in fuller male voices, as well as a fuller instrumentation, with a more accurate timbre and superior fullness. In the upper mids the competencies seem to even out, although the differences still lie in the density and body of the elements. The S12 Pro’s have more substrate and harmonics, while the Klanar’s are leaner, thinner, something that facilitates a cleaner, neater feel. That tendency to be thinner makes them seem neater and more detached. In reality, they feel more V-shaped and somewhat more sparse, offering slightly less information by default on both sides. Although, that thinness can be beneficial in some situations, as it is able to isolate female vocals with good talent, recreating them in a more prominent way. The S12 Pro’s are more physical and fuller in this respect, offering more base and treble, as well as a more up-front and close presence. But they are also more homogeneous and the female vocals seem more integrated and wrapped up in the music, sharing that prominence with the rest of the instruments.
In the treble the difference in energy is clear. The S12 Pro has more energy, but its timbre is more accurate. In the Klanar they have been lowered and their sonority is more subdued, relaxed and nuanced. They don’t have the sparkle of the S12 Pro, but they aren’t any sharper either. I actually think that something in between the models would be ideal. Here it’s a choice between the more realistic and crisp zone of the S12 Pro or the less fatiguing controlled attenuation of the Klanar.
In terms of soundstage, the S12 Pro persists with the idea of a denser, wider, but frontally more dense and homogeneous wall of sound. The Klanar presents a more oval soundstage, with more air and lateral distance, but also in depth. It’s not as big or tall as in the S12 Pro, but it seems to be more distributed. That is able to generate some gaps that allow small details to be seen more clearly, as there is more emptiness around them. With the S12 Pro no element seems to be alone and the detection of details seems more complex when the music is more complex. The difference between the two is in that distribution of elements in the scene, so it’s hard to say which is greater. It feels a little more volatile and loose on the Klanar, but wider on the S12 Pro, so the end result seems to even out if you average it out.





Kefine is born with a clear purpose that seeks the best quality/price ratio. Isn’t that what most brands are looking for? I suppose so, although the difference is in whether or not they actually achieve it and what they do to achieve it. Kefine is clear in this respect. You can tell they know the landscape and they also take into account the tastes of the fans. It can’t be easy to break into the market at the height of the second iteration of planar models with a new model of this technology for the first time. Only by paying attention to the weak points and generating an alternative response on those points can you get attention. And that is where Kefine has put its stamp. It is true that, a priori, not much has been risked in the tuning of the Klanar. However, I think that there are some nuances that can lead to success. And these are the points that the brand itself is really clear about with this model. The model introductions created by the brands themselves are usually very bombastic, but Kefine has clearly explained their wishes: «More powerful bass, warm, rich, clean and detailed mids, smooth and not harsh highs, good for long listening without fatigue. The listening experience is immersive. The soundstage is wide and entertaining. Thanks to its high sensitivity and low impedance, Klanar is very easy to handle.» Kefine really knows what they are looking for and they have found it with this model. There’s little more I can add, just encourage them to keep it up, even if it’s just perfecting what already exists.



Sources Used During the Analysis


  • Aune Yuki.
  • Aune M1p.
  • Hidizs S9 Pro Plus Martha.
  • Burson Audio Playmate II.
  • Fiio R7.